By Matt Evans
Last year's Black Friday deals saw phenomenal discounts across the health and fitness sphere. Although last year's deals bonanza may be well and truly over, preparations are already being made for this year's crop – and for many people, rowing machine deals are still top of the list.
If you're in the market for one of these calorie-torching machines, it's likely going to be an expensive purchase, one that needs a bit of consideration. After all, you're looking for a large piece of apparatus to fit in your garage, spare room, shed, flat or wherever else you're going to stash it. If you're looking to spend a few hundred dollars on a high-quality, good-looking piece of fitness kit, it's worth holding off until the early sales begin to emerge.
If you've been considering buying a rowing machine for home use, then Black Friday is undoubtedly the time to do it. What was once for many an expensive piece of fit kit can soon be a reality thanks to a plethora of great Black Friday deals. US retailers to watch include Best Buy, Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods, if last year was anything to go by. UK retailers included Amazon, Argos and a surprising number of deals from Sweatband.com.
With the prices we saw across a variety of retailers last year , you can add a rower to your home gym set up without breaking the bank - including some of the best rowing machines on the market today. Take a look at some of the best bargains from last year below, which should give you a great indication of what's in store.
Not interested in rowing? Perhaps you're looking for other cardio machines. Check out our Black Friday treadmill deals, check for discounts on the best elliptical machines and peruse our Black Friday exercise bike deals pages for major discounts on these key exercise machines.
When is Black Friday 2021?
Black Friday will fall on Friday 26 November 2021. However you can expect quite a few "early bird" deals to pop up across the week in the run-up to Black Friday. Now BF is a bona fide shopping event rather than an incidental side-effect of Thanksgiving, expect the deals to run across a slew of retailers right up until the following Monday.
Known as "Cyber Monday" due to the online boom, this used to be a simple matter of retailers attempting to get rid of their excess BF stock at knock-down prices. However, this has since grown into a day as full of deals as Black Friday itself. If you miss out on a bargain on the Friday itself, don't despair: you've got until Monday night to snap up a discount rower, and we'll be there to point you in the direction of the latest deals every step of the way.
US Black Friday rowing machine deals (2020)
Below are a few examples of 2020 deals from the US and the UK, to demonstrate the sort of deals we can expect to see this year.
Best rowing machine deals (2020)
XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower | Was $1,399.99 | Now $799.99 | Saving $600 at Dick's Sporting Goods
If you want to torch calories, this is a great machine to do it on. As well as air and magnetic resistance settings and a built-in heart rate receiver, this rower comes with ten effective programs offering a variety of workouts. Plus it's foldable, so it's a dream to store. Get it whilst it's better than half price!View Deal
NordicTrack RW200 Rower | was $1,299.99 | now $799.99 at Best Buy
Save a massive $500 on the NordicTrack rowing machine, a fully-kitted-out rower with multiple challenge settings, 24 resistance levels and swivelling pedals to customise your setup. Who needs the gym?View Deal
ProForm 440R Rower | was $799.99 | now $329.99 at Best Buy
Save $470 on this fantastic rowing machine, allowing you to burn fat and build muscle at home. The Proform 440 is built with adjustable pedals, seat and rail to cater for users of all heights, while the space-saving design allows the rail to fold up neatly, so it's not a permanent fixture in your living room. View Deal
Stamina Elite Wave Water Rower 1450 | Was $999.99 | Now $699.99 at Dick's Sporting Goods
If you're looking for the closest thing to being out on the river, a water rower is where it's at. This one comes with all-bearing rollers for a smooth seat-gliding action, a high-end fitness monitor and a chest strap heart rate sensor.View Deal
NordicTrack RW900 Rower | Was £1,999.99 | Now $1,599.99 at Dick's Sporting Goods
Save $400 on this top model. For our money, the RW900 is the best foldable rowing machine - making it a great choice if floorspace is limited. It has over 20 built-in workout programs and a 22-inch touchscreen monitor for Peloton-style workout classes from iFit, tracks a ton of stats, and comes with speakers and an input for your phone.View Deal
Hydrow - Connected Rower | was $2,245.00 | now $1,995.00 at Best Buy
This is the cream of the crop. Hydrow's computer-controlled electromagnetic drag mechanism is said to be "the closest thing to being on the water". The connected Bluetooth and WiFi allows you to row with master trainers during interactive workouts, displayed on the expansive monitor. Save $250.View Deal
Stamina Magnetic Rowing Machine | now $191.99 from Walmart
A great, no-frills rowing machine for under $200. The small attached monitor measures the basics, it's got eight levels of magnetic resistance, and while it doesn't fully fold, it can be tilted and stored vertically on its end. View Deal
SereneLife Air/Magnetic Rowing Machine | was $319.99 | now $289.99 at Amazon
Measure time, strides distance and calories burned without a watch with the SereneLife's incorporated digital monitor. With eight levels of tension resistance and up to 999.9m rowing distance limit, these workouts are anything but serene.View Deal
UK Black Friday rowing machine deals (2020)
The UK's top rowing machine offers (2020)
Thanks to the UK's months-long serious lockdowns in which gyms have closed, demand for rowing machines has been driven even higher than before. Consequently, deals are few and far between, with brands like John Lewis completely selling out of its range of top-of-the-line rowing machines and Water Rowers.
If you can't find what you're looking for, keep checking back: we'll update this page with all the latest deals as they land.
DKN Riviera water rowing machine | was £999.00 | now £499.99 at Sweatband.com
Save a huge £500 on this premium water tank rowing machine, the best discount on one we've seen in the UK so far. The adjustable water resistance naturally rises and falls to mimic a real lake or ocean. View Deal
JTX Freedom Air Rowing Machine | Was £699 | Now £579 at JTX Fitness
JTX Fitness make some of the best cardio machines on the market, and the Freedom rowing machine is no exception. With this rower you'll get a smooth, stable motion, pus the sleek design and foldable frame means it's a great addition to your home gym.View Deal
MorNon Home Rowing Machine Wooden Indoor Rowing Machine | was £699.99 | now £599.99 at Amazon
Save on this beautiful walnut and ash wood water tank rowing machine from MorNon. The best way to save a tidy £100 is to click through to the link and hit the "Add Voucher" option, which will be applied at checkout.View Deal
Reebok ZJET Rowing Machine | was £399 | now £349.99 at Argos
Reebok's ZJET entry is great value, with 19 different exercise presets to choose from and 16 different levels of tension driven by the 6kg flywheel. It's another rowing machine which folds for convenient storage.View Deal
Viavito Sumi folding rowing machine | was £349.99 | now £265.99 at Sweatband.com
The excellent, compact budget rower Viavito Sumi was knocked down to £279.99, but you can save a further £14 by using the code SAVE5 at checkout.
Black Friday rowing machine deals: What to look out for?
All rowing machines work your back muscles, arms, legs and core in addition to your cardiovascular fitness. However, they do this using a few different mechanisms.
The first, and cheapest, are lever systems with hydraulics. These are most often used for collapsible budget machines, and while they're good for casual fitness fans and those looking to get their workout in anytime, anywhere, it's the most limited in terms of range of motion.
Those serious about their fitness will want to look at the next category, using a fan belt and a cable pull. These use either magnetism or electrical resistance artificially applied in addition to the pulls needed to activating the fan.
Serious athletes and those that want the best kit will want water rowers. These accurately simulate the feeling of rowing by using a small tank of water. When you pull the cable, rotary blades turn and work against the water. The harder you pull, the harder the blades work against the water, so the machine performs to your fitness levels automatically rather than using set resistance levels.
Most rowers are customisable, allowing you to adjust the ergonomic moulded seat, height and pedals to your body, while the rail itself will often fold up for storage or stand on its end, allowing you to store it somewhere discreetly with ease. This isn't an issue if you have space for a permanent fixture, but collapsible ones makes for a great option for people in apartments rather than houses with garages and basements.
Lastly, check for warranties. For example, the ProForm 440 rowing machine comes fully covered with a five-year frame and motor warranty.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and Channel Editor at Fit&Well. He's previously written for titles like Men's Health and Red Bull, and covers all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website.
Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen kickboxer and runner. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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